Credit scores and reports often seem like mysterious pieces of evidence of your financial standing. You never know exactly when they go up or down.
Additionally, staying on top of your credit report and score is important. They’re often determining factors when applying for a rental property or buying a car.
You may feel nervous trying to obtain your credit information. Sometimes attempting to check it can hurt your credit.
If you’ve been asking yourself, “What’s the best way to access my credit report,” keep reading. We’re going over the best approaches.
Credit Score vs Credit Report
Before we get started, let’s go over the difference between a credit report and credit score. People often think they’re the same thing.
A credit score is something used to determine your credit risk. It’s a numerical point system that fluctuates as you make purchases, pay off credit cards, or make payments on things like utility bills or car loans. Late payments or high amounts of credit owed will result in a poor credit score, which can hurt your future.
A credit report is a detailed account of all your credit activity. The report shows everything from how long you’ve had credit cards to any collection attempts made to recover a debt.
Canadian Credit Bureaus
The most common way to check credit information is through one of the major credit bureaus. These are organizations that track credit scores and reports.
In Canada, TransUnion and Equifax are the two credit bureaus you should use. Ordering your credit information from these bureaus won’t hurt your credit score.
You can request your score or report either online or by mail. You’ll need to provide identification in the form of a driver’s license or passport.
Keep in mind that your credit score or report may be slightly different depending on which credit bureau you use. They each have different tracking methods. However, the difference is very small.
Banks and Other Services
Your bank or credit union may offer free credit reports and scores to their customers.
Many banks allow you to request your information via an app or online banking portal. When you get your score or report through your bank, it will say which credit bureau provided the information.
There are also other services that provide access to your credit score. You can find these online, but make sure to do some research into them before providing your information.
Many of these online services are free. Others may ask you to sign up for a free trial of a credit monitoring service first. Make sure you read the fine print, as some of these services end up charging a monthly fee.
How Can I Get My Credit Score and Report? Use These Tips
Staying on top of your credit will give you peace of mind when making big financial decisions. It’ll also make it easier to improve your score if it’s dropped recently.
If you’re sick of wondering, “What’s my credit score,” use this guide and see what your financial standing is right away.
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